Every Saturday in my local paper there is a 'Religion' section. It is headed by a column written by various ministers and pastors in my community. I look forward to it, for one reason because of this column, and for another, the letters to the editor. One guy in particular likes to get all we 'religious' folks stirred up in any way he can think of and that's always fun. You know what I mean.
This mornings column was no exception to the usual. Thought provoking and challenging is all I can say, but I wanted to share what I learned from it because I think it is extremely important.
Every person who claims Christ, and allows Him the leadership, is anxiously awaiting His return. "I can't wait til He comes!" we shout eagerly. "Then all this suffering will be over!"
I've said it right here on FW. But as this column pointed out to me, the day of our Lord's return will be, although glorious because we will at last be in His physical presence, a dark day indeed. All those people who just didn't want to hear the message, didn't want to accept Him 'just yet', wanted to wait until the timing was better--all those people will be LOST forever. Time will have run out for them, and hope for their souls and their futures will be over. They will stand before their Creator in shame. That day will be a day of DESTRUCTION-annihilation. God's wrath will be poured out on mankind. Instead of spending all our time worrying over Iraq, Iran, and so many other parts of the world, people need to start worrying about their SOULS and the judgement that has been promised.
While it is our goal to be with our King someday, we need to be careful not to try to hurry it along. We need to be careful of trying so hard to get Him to hurry up and return that we fail to see those around us who need to FIND Him too. Our Lord is patient, and He is patiently waiting for ALL His children to come home to Him. It is written in the Bible that He doesn't desire that any of us are lost-that we all come to Him.
We need to take a deep breath.
And slow ourselves and our own desires down. And maybe pray instead that He will give us more time to further the message for Him, pray that He will delay His return out of His mercy. We need to pray for patience. We could be seen as selfish for thinking, "Well, I'm ready so come now, Lord!" Are we thinking clearly when we say this? I say, yes and no. We want to be with Him. That's a good thing. But, wait! Are we not already 'with Him'? I am. I know you are too. But some people aren't!
We have to keep up our fight, and accept any suffering we are presently enduring, and be grateful for the time with which we've been gifted here on earth.
I have been reminded that while I am throwing up my hands in utter frustration, and crying more often than not, that I may take a 'rest period' to wallow, but He will not allow me to give up. I refuse to give up, and I will suffer every minute necessary if it gives another person the opportunity to meet My Father God.
Another writer here put on her 'dancing' shoes for me because I was unable to do it for myself. Yet others have offered up prayers on my family's behalf. Were it not for them holding me up, I would have fallen farther than I did. This is what love is and this is what it does. It keeps hope alive in another's heart, and reminds them that while they are in the pit, the dark places, others are there with them. They're either suffering their own pits, or they're standing at the top of it with a rope, mightily trying to pull us out. Not only have I stepped into my dancing shoes, I've turned them into work shoes. Shouldn't we desire that every human soul on this earth gets to experience this also? That our Lord will, in fact, delay His return so that more and more people will be gathered in with us? I really can't wait to go, but I want everyone to go with us, or at least as many as are willing!
There's much work to be done still. We still have time to reach those who are lost, and that's a gift from God. He is a most merciful Leader.
I may grow very weary at times. I refuse to faint.
There's just too much at stake here.
NOTE: Verses pertaining to 'the day of the Lord'; Isaiah 2:12, Isaiah 13:6, Isaiah 13:9, Ezekiel 30:3, Joel 1:15, Joel 2:11, Amos 5:18, Amos 5:20, Zephaniah 1:18, Zephaniah 2:2-3.
This article was written from the inspiration provided by Pastor Dave Smeltz of Faith Baptist Church. Thanks for the eye-opener this morning, Pastor Smeltz!
Read more articles by Elizabeth Hale or search for articles on the same topic or others.
Beth! Very thought provoking! Great reminder that there is still work to do! You said: Not only have I stepped into my dancing shoes, I've turned them into work shoes. Turning our dance shoes into work shoes!!! WOW!! Shouldn't we desire that every human soul on this earth gets to experience this also? That our Lord will, in fact, delay His return so that more and more people will be gathered in with us? I really can't wait to go, but I want everyone to go with us, or at least as many as are willing!
Didn't Abraham experience this? Lord if there be 50?
Hello Elizabeth, this is a great message and yes it will also be a day of great trepidition. Sadly many Christians (including me) may think we are going to heaven. But if we read the Word, it will surprise us how difficult it will be to enter. I think we are going to get a surprise (including me) Maybe we need to dig in deeper and hear what the Lord is saying to us about the costs of entering in and what we should do. There is still time for us to change, we cannot be placid and think we will enter. On that day 'we may be rejected' and it will be a bigger surprise for us than others. This is what came to me as I read your message today. Yes, it is also everything else you have written in it. Well done. It concerned me when I heard a friend of mine saying 'His Name was written in the Book of the Lamb', he continued to live an ungodly life, even though He loved the Lord very much.....Loving God enough is not good enough. The Bible tells us what we should do, if we want to be serious about our entry in first - we need to read it and do something about it. God bless and keep inspiring. Your friend Trudy